How do you get your affiliates to become more active?
In order to get your affiliates to be more active, there are some basics you have to cover first.
Your affiliates want to be viewed as an important partner for your company and should be treated as such. So if an affiliate has a problem or question, don’t blow it off for days – tackle when it comes in.
I call this one touch affiliate management. Don’t open, read, and then put affiliate queries on that back burner. And, by all means, don’t disregard these contacts.
So, you’re taking care of your affiliates and treating them like partners. What next? Well, determine why they should promote you instead of your competition.
Do you have a bigger product selection, more frequent commission payment schedule, an XML data feed, highest commission in your category, better EPC than your competitors?
Make it a practice to frequently engage in comeptitive research, so you can frequently optimize your program, and tell your affiliates why you stand out.
When you have everything in place, target your affiliates by email, phone AND direct mail to sell them on the value propositions of your affiliate program.
Don’t be shy about sending them a little gift or increasing their commission rate. Do things that stand out in their minds and make them feel appreciated – happy affiliates are productive affiliates.
As far as the terminally inactive affiliates, try setting up a communication plan for them, where you provide tips, resources, login information, links with their affiliate id, etc. on a regular basis.
For those affiliates that never become active after an extended period of time, consider dropping them from your program. You’ll hear the argument that some affiliate somewhere joined two years ago and become super active last week for so and so program.
As far as I can tell, those stories are myths (I’m still looking for the case study that proves me wrong). Focus your efforts and energies on building relationships, but you’ve got to set some limits to determine when an affiliate is simply not going to be active.